SMT007 Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 125

82 SMT Magazine • July 2017 the fabrication techniques include thick- and thin-film wafer processing, wire bonding, ma- chining, molding, casting, coil winding, pot- ting, encapsulating and component testing. Assembly: The process of putting together manufactured components or parts into a defin- able configuration. This may include electronic testing as a step in the assembly process. The fi- nal assembly of a product may include the join- ing of several sub-assemblies. Assembly processes use value-added labor and/or automation (i.e., machine labor), to create a subassembly or the final product. It is generally a reversible process. In the current parlance when we speak about a loss of manufacturing jobs, we really mean a loss in production jobs; this would include jobs in manufacturing and assembly. The elitist brain trusts in government and academia who came up with the acronym STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math 2 should have included production, or STEMP. However, product production has nev- er gotten the respect it deserves. It is the rea- son that in the States, the VCR could be invent- ed (1962, RCA Model TR-22), but the U.S. never developed a commercial version nor produced it in volume. In a sense, it is analogous to the relation- ship between a company's direct labor force and their management. This relationship has been discussed previously in this column: Di- rect labor pays for indirect and overhead costs such as management and indirect engineering, in a similar way that mass-produced products pay for the theoretical science, technology, en- gineering and mathematics that they incorpo- rate. Production deserves a place of its own at the top of the Mount Rushmore of technical educa- tion—next to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM subjects have always been more theoretical than practical. However, there is no question as to the im- portance of pure science, classroom technolo- gy, design engineering, and pure mathematics. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to un- derstand the seminal role these technological tools play in the development of a firm founda- tion for the proper execution of applied high- tech electronic product production. However, teaching how to apply the theory in production can never be effectively taught in the ivory tower. Yet, high-tech product production relies on: 1. Automation science and physics (motion control, etc.) 2. Material science (solder paste rheology) 3. Chemistry (solder paste and cleaning) 4. Heat transfer and thermodynamics (wave and reflow soldering) 5. Statistics for developing a successful assembly process (process validation and meta process control) and understanding a process with non-random variation that is beginning to trend toward an upper or lower control limit A deep understanding of all these sciences, along with other classical subjects, is required for a production engineer to be successful. This is where the learning for earning part comes in. Those applied production skills and the associated sciences need to be taught in a re- al-world setting, concurrently. With the high-tech contributions of ad- vanced packaging automation incorporated in the manufacturing and assembly of today's electronic products, production should be a sci- ence on the same level as subjects classically taught in an engineering curriculum. However, production cannot be successfully taught in an antiseptic classroom. One example of what the education com- munity holds up as high academic achievement can be found by looking at the 90 th Scripps Na- tional Spelling Bee that has just been conclud- ed. The final round was held on June 1, in Mary- land. This event was televised with all the hoop- la of a major sports event. Mini-bios of the final- ists from the field of 291 entrants, aged 6–15, were inserted in the coverage as the contenders sought to be enshrined at the top of this spell- ing Mount Olympus. The contestants' friends and families were present, forming the gallery—cheering, hoping and praying for a successful conclusion to what must have been countless hours of memorizing lists of obscure words. ANALYZING THE COST OF MATERIAL IN TODAY'S GLOBAL ECONOMY, PART 2

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SMT007 Magazine - SMT-July2017